By Paul Ejime - Even before the United States assembled the 30-nation “Allied Forces” against Iraq during the first Gulf war in 1991, with all the attendant controversies and uncertainties, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had demonstrated an international best practice in regional peace keeping operation in Liberia through its Military Monitoring Group, ECOMOG. Nigeria provided the bulk of troops for the ECOMOG maiden mission with 10 journalists including this writer embedded in the regional force which landed with the Nigerian Naval War Ship (NNS AMBE) in Monrovia’s Freeport on 24th August 1990, to help end the civil war waged against then President Samuel Doe by Charles Taylor, ex-warlord now war crime convict serving time in Scotland. That mission was under the command of Ghanaian General Arnold Quainoo, whose tenure was later marred by the controversy that surrounded Doe’s capture and eventual death at the hands of former rebel...
Since the return of democracy in 1999 and the establishment of two anti-corruption bodies (the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) to rid the country of institutionalised corruption, interests of various forms and influences from diverse sources have thwarted the fight against graft in Nigeria. Recently at a resumed sitting of the Katsina State High Court, where the ICPC is prosecuting three former officials of the last administration in the state, we were once again reminded that the government’s anti-corruption campaign is not insensitive to political and other socio-factorial sentiments. The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ahmed El-Marzuk, emerged at the middle of the trial on last Tuesday seeking the permission of the court to take over the prosecution of indicted officials brought to the court by the ICPC. This is curious, especially an earlier fiat the state Attorney...
By Dele Ogunrinde - As a senior citizen who has never been a politician but, however, admire and cherish any party that works for the welfare and wellbeing of the citizens, I encourage any such party that will not only fulfil their political promises to the electorate but will at all times in and out of season in politics consider others first before self.  In this context, I maintain that any comment or comments I may be making either referring to a political party or an individual will have no political meaning to me but for the reasons as stated above. I am encouraged to write this because of my love for this country and because I am encouraged by the analyses and comments of the presenters and commentators in the media. This is to prevent disintegration of this country and I believe Nigeria will live as a united country. In terms...
By Israel Ebije It is already 31 years since one of the most fiery, tenacious, patriotic journalists in Nigerian history Sumonu Oladele Giwa was cut down by a parcel bomb. The death of Mr Giwa was not only a loss to the profession, but a loss for Nigerians craving for people based investigative journalism. He blazed from all cylinders in an attempt to tame governments of his day. He was relentless even as pioneer editor-in-chief of Newswatch, a magazine he co-founded. In the era of the Giwa and others like him, journalism was honourable, the institution was impregnable and practitioners were noble in the discharge of their social responsibility to educate, inform and entertain. It is instructive at this point to recall that pre and post-independence media organisations owned by regions in our geographical entity were largely cleavage based. It is also instructive to intimate the younger generation that they served...
Kidnapping incidents in parts of the country in the last couple of months have assumed very alarming dimensions. The development has expectedly engendered in people especially commuters palpable fear. Some communities in States such as Edo, Kogi and Kaduna are at the moment gripped with fear as a result of the frequency of kidnapping incidents. The development apart from the obvious implications to national security is in addition having its toll on the enthusiasm of foreigners wishing to invest in the country. On account of the resultant insecurity, travel advisory have severally been issued by some countries advising their nationals not to travel to parts of the country. Similarly, some diplomats wanting to travel to parts of the country for example the North East, had to put off such travels in order to avoid being kidnapped. This is the extent the kidnapping menace has dragged the image of the...
Nine weeks into her pregnancy, Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, died from a stroke, after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage. The brain-dead pregnant woman was kept alive on a ventilator for 123 days—the longest time ever—delivered healthy set of twins by emergency Caesarean Section before her ventilator was switched off. Muriel and Frankielen were in a 6-year relationship before the incident The twins, Ana Vitoria, 1.4 kg, and Asaph, 1.3 kg, were born as healthy as premature babies. They were only nine-week-old embryos when their mother passed on, but their hearts continued to beat and doctors were able to save them. Her husband and father of the twins, Muriel Padilha, 24, has described their birth as a “miracle” after doctors initially told him there was no hope of them surviving. According to the Head of Neurological, ICU, at the Nosso Senhora do Rocio Hospital, Dr Dalton Rivabem: “We did an ultrasound...
By Garba Shehu - President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit to the South-Eastern states of Ebonyi and Anambra is taking place at the most opportune juncture, to show support to a governor who has done so much in promoting the President’s policy on food self-sufficiency and to to endorse his party’s candidate in a crucial vote to install a new governor through an election at the weekend in Anambra. Given the unfortunate secessionist winds sown by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB the President’s visit should be seen as part of the measures promised by the administration, following successful cooperation between the federal government, the region’s five governors and the cultural leadership of the people, the Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo. This joint effort has in no small means achieved success in putting out the fires ignited by IPOB. The visit should go further in soothing frayed nerves and provide an opportunity to listen more...
By Ogechukwu Ajuzie - The commencement of payment of pension benefits by Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to Nigeria Police Officers who fought on the side of Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War from 1966-1970 is a very commendable initiative by the present administration. It would be recalled that at the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970. Officers of the Nigeria Police, Military and Paramilitary who fought on the side of Biafra were dismissed from service. This was contrary to the spirit of no victor, no vanquished policy and reconciliation espoused by the then General Yakubu Gowon Administration. Since their unfortunate dismissal from service the affected officers and their families have had to live with the unpleasant agony of being denied their benefit. The various administration in the country, both military and civilian, were unable to resolve this intractable problem which had remained a sad chapter of the Biafra saga. However,...
By Godwin Ewulu Nigerians need to rethink their reaction to debt and borrowing plans. In the past two years, there has been much talk on the country’s debt profile which has risen to N19.6 trillion locally and over $64 billion total debt (according to the DMO website). Many Nigerians complain that the government is borrowing too much. We are worried that the future of our children is at stake here. We do not wish to see the other side of the borrowing plan which puts the country in a better position for decades to come. A critical look at the current debt structure and the attributes of the new borrowing plan will paint a vivid picture on why the Muhammadu Buhari-led government must be encouraged to see its borrowing plan through. It was Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, perceived as the world’s best investor, who said “beware the investment activity that...

Buhari’s Tall Ranking On Terror War

By Okanga Agila Without mincing words, I do like to confess publicly that I am one Nigerian who believes in President Muhammedu Buhari. I am not his partisan adherent, but my admiration for him as a person and now leader of Nigeria blossoms everyday like a flower. Buhari is awesomely an intriguing leader and to me, he is not just a cerebral force, but someone in the region of an impenetrable being, who has overpowered all human debilitations, like some gods. Elsewhere in the world, leaders derive their sacredness and veneration from the effervescence of unassailability. And candidly, a leader is not just a piece of cake on a street shop to instantly decode in shape, colour and countenance. So, President Buhari has a big and matured heart. He rarely speaks, but believes more in action. Today, President Buhari has proven that he emerged not just as an enigma on Nigeria’s political...